My aunt, who lost her 17 year old son Matt (one of my only two cousins) in 1993, shared with me, soon after Jud died, how she never speaks of her son in the past tense, for she believes he is more alive now than ever before.
Conceptually, this resonated with me.
Drake and I chose to adopt this model and only speak of Jud in the present tense as well. We may talk about things he has done in the past tense, but when we are describing his character or other attributes, we consciously chose to speak of him in the present. For instance, instead of saying, “He was so sweet!” I intentionally express, “He is so sweet!”
It was soon after Judson died that we implemented this pattern of speech to convey the vitality of our little guy. Since that time, I have become conscious of how this concept is counter-culture. It is extremely uncommon for me to hear anyone speak of the qualities of my precious boy as current rather than past. I have even had to correct myself several times when I discover my words speak of his death rather than his life.
This is one of many examples that confirm how important it is that one’s speech be consistent with their beliefs; our words should reflect our espoused viewpoints. But I am also finding that the reverse is true too. Our words can reinforce or reform our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs as well.
Therefore, I will continue to speak in recognition of Jud’s present life in eternity and in doing so it reminds me just how alive he is.